Lipton’s Seat – Tea with breathtaking views – By Arundathie Abeysinghe

Lipton’s Seat – Tea with breathtaking views – By Arundathie Abeysinghe

Sir Thomas Lipton

Photo caption: Statue of Scottish Tea Baron Sir Thomas Lipton at Lipton’s Seat

Ms. Arundathie Abeysinghe

Named after the connoisseur of Ceylon Tea Trade, Scottish Tea Baron Sir Thomas Lipton, Lipton’s Seat is an observatory point situated at an elevation of 1,970 meters above sea level on Poonagala Mountain in Dambetanne Tea Estate. The lookout from Lipton’s Seat is equal to breathtaking views from World’s End at Horton Plains. Sir Thomas Lipton, the famous tea planter had used this literal seat to survey his burgeoning Tea Empire (sprawling extents of thousands of acres of tea), seated on a bench at this highest point in Dambetanne Tea Estate.

On the way to the Lipton’s Seat a visitor will pass through the 2500 acre Dambatenna Tea Estate and factory set up by Sir Thomas Lipton in 1890. Sir Thomas Lipton had lived in this estate and the first leaves which left Sri Lankan shores were produced here. Most of the machinery used for tea production in Dambatenna Tea Factory had been used about a century ago and they are still well-maintained and in good condition.   

The ascent to the observatory point takes about three hours. The signs from the tea factory up to the viewpoint are easy to follow.

From this viewpoint, there are bird’s eye views of Uva*, Central, Southern, Sabaragamuwa and Eastern Provinces. Lunugamwehera, Kataragama, Wedihiti Kanda (Kanda meaning hill in Sinhala), Handapanagala Lake, Chandirka Lake, Moneragala Lake, Uda Walawe Lake, Wellawaya and Koslanda towns as well as Hambantota Harbour and Hambantota Airport can also be seen from this place.

There are two routes to reach Lipton’s Seat; from Nayabedda Estate in Bandarawela and the other route is through Dambatenna Tea Estate in Haputale (the Estate where Lipton’s Seat is situated). Both routes have entrances marked with sign boards. The most popular route to the viewpoint is through Dambatenna Tea Estate. Trail to Lipton’s Seat from Dambatenne Tea Estate begins at Dambatenne Tea Factory winding its way through eight kilometers of verdant tea plantations dotted with colorful saree clad tea pluckers busy plucking tea. The majority of tea plantations surrounding the trail to Lipton’s Seat were part of Sir Thomas Lipton’s Tea Empire.

Some sections of the road to the viewpoint have original stone constructions from the British Colonial Era of Ceylon (Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon before 1972).

Over a century ago, Sir Thomas Lipton had viewed his tea estates from this eponymous lookout enjoying a cup of tea. At present, there is a bronze statue of Sir Lipton seated on a stone bench with an outstretched arm.

 

Breathtaking panoramas draw visitors to this viewpoint. The majority of tourists pose with Sir Lipton’s Statue as a photographic memoir about their expedition to the viewpoint.  

Lipton’s Seat is a place that barely registers on the tourist radar as the majority of tourists visit Ella, Haputale and Bandarawela, famous tourist places in Uva *.

Lemathota Waterfall is situated on the way to the viewpoint. Early morning before sunrise is the best time to visit Lipton’s Seat to observe spectacular views of the surrounding area as by mid day the area is covered by mist and clouds obscuring the view. 

This lookout is a paradise for nature photographers with change of colors of the spectacular surroundings before sunrise to morning and mid afternoon, enveloped with thick mist and surreal views of the valleys below. Sunset views from the lookout are equally breathtaking as sunrise with spectacular vistas nothing short of epic.

This viewpoint can be reached by vehicle as well as on foot. But walking to the viewpoint through lush green tea plantations with vistas of verdant tea as far as the eye can see is a nice experience.

Sir Thomas Lipton had bought several tea estates in Sri Lanka and Dambatenna Tea Estate had been one of them. Indian plantation workers were employed as estate workers in the Tea Estates. To date, the estate workers employed in tea estates in Sri Lanka are descendants of those workers. Lipton Ceylon Tea manufactured, distributed and sold worldwide is manufactured in this tea estate.

Location: About 18 kilometers from Haputale and about eight kilometers from Dambatenna Tea Factory

*Uva Province – This is the fourth largest province in Sri Lanka bordered by Central, Eastern and Southern provinces.

 (Sir Thomas Johnstone Lipton popularly known as Sir Thomas Lipton was an enterprising Scot who left an indelible impression on entire Sri Lanka with his genius).

 

 

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